Stomach pains. Tiredness. Cravings that end in a carb coma. Not to mention the normal stresses and strains of life. Our bodies go through a lot each month, which is why it’s important, particularly during our periods, that the fuel we put into them is nourishing.
If you're struggling to think past the chocolate aisle, here are 9 no-fuss ideas you can knock up in no time – using your free Nairn's oatcakes in September’s box. Oatcakes are a great choice when you're thinking about reaching for that biscuit tin. They are high in soluble fibre and a low-GI food - meaning you'll feel fuller for longer and release energy slowly.
9 Things To Eat On Your Period
1. Blueberries and Greek yoghurt
Why: You struggle with PMS. Studies have shown that women with the highest levels of calcium and vitamin D are less likely to develop PMS. Three servings of dairy a day will help you on your way. Not only is greek yoghurt packed with calcium and vitamin D, it also has the highest protein levels among dairy products.
2. What: Avocado and tomatoes
Why: You suffer from cramps. Avos are a great source of Omega 3 - a ‘good’ type of fat that has anti-inflammatory properties. This superfood may fight nasty prostaglandins, which are linked to muscular contraction and cramps. Salmon, nuts and flax seed can also combat cramping. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and prevent constipation.
3. What: Beetroot and cheese
Why: You feel crappy. The humble beetroot is actually an unsung hero. It’s great for detoxing (try it as a juice) because it stops fatty acids from building up in your liver. It's full of antioxidants which fight free radicals that cause ageing. Plus the lycopene helps keep your skin elastic and youthful. Cheese is packed with calcium for healthy bones – particularly important for women, who are at risk from osteoporosis.
4. What: Chili guacamole
Why: You want Tex-Mex. If you’re craving carbs, making your own guac on oatcakes is a no brainer: just mash up one avocado, add a chopped red chili and a squeeze of lemon juice. The avocado is a healthy source of fat while the chili contains capsaicin which flights inflammation and may also provide natural pain relief. Red chili peppers are also high in vitamin A which keeps your immune system strong.
5. What: Radish and cheese
Why: You could eat and eat and eat. While cheese can be high in fat, it is also packed with protein. A single serving of hard cheese has around 8 grams (the average woman needs 46 grams a day). Protein is proven to help you feel fuller for longer. If you want to opt for a soft cheese, ricotta has more than five times the amount of vitamin D than other cheeses. Radishes are full of vitamin C as well as being an importance source of fibre, keeping your digestive system functioning.
6. What: Dark chocolate and oatmeal
Why: You need a lift. If you’re going to indulge when you’re on your period, opt for the dark stuff. Dark chocolate (go for 65% min) contains magnesium to increase energy and endorphins to improve your mood. A couple of pieces is all you need though – it’s also high in fat and calories. Oatmeal is high in fibre and protein and low in fat – add a dollop of dark chocolate on top and you’re good to go.
7. What: Hummus and chia
Why: You need a veggie protein lift. This vegan friendly snack contains chickpeas, which will help you sleep better at a time when you need it most. Plant proteins such as chickpeas are especially good for hormonal balance – so if you have irregular periods up your intake. Chia seeds are a powerhouse of goodness containing essential fatty acids, fibre, omega 3s and protein. A sprinkle on top is all you need.
8.What: Banana and honey
Why: You’re bloated. Bananas are loaded with potassium which helps banish water retention. They can also help regulate digestion. Add a drizzle of natural honey and you're done.
9. What: Yoghurt and honey
Why: You need a sweet treat. Greek yoghurt is full of protein while natural honey is packed with antioxidants.
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